Every year, on February 2, Americans interrupt their normal routines and wait with bated breath for the world’s hairiest meteorologist, Punxsutawney Phil. But you already know how this whole bit works—if Phil sees his shadow, there are six more weeks of winter; if not, count on an early spring.
But here’s the secret that the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club’s Inner Circle doesn’t want you to know: Phil’s predictions are only correct about 39 percent of the time.
Did I just blow your mind? The Inner Circle would have us believe that this is due to a translation error. According to their website, “After Phil emerges from his burrow on February 2, he speaks to the Groundhog Club President in Groundhogese. His proclamation is then translated for the world.”
After 130 years of predictions of “shadow” or “no shadow,” I’m not so sure about the translation error theory.
As a groundhog of 131 years of age, the problem may not be with the translation, but instead with Phil not having a proper pair of prescription glasses. Deteriorating eyesight at that age could be an issue. Could it be glaucoma, which 50 percent of people who have it don’t know? Could it be Age-Related Macular Degeneration?
The poor critter can’t even tell if he’s casting a shadow, perhaps simply because he can’t see properly. Instead of giving Phil a drink of magical punch every summer to extend his life, maybe the Inner Circle should bring Punxsutawney Phil in for his annual eye exam.
Don’t be like Phil. Find your local VSP network doctor and schedule your annual comprehensive eye exam. While your shadow may not predict the length of winter, your eyesight is just as important.
This is a guest blog by VSP employee Chris N.